After the long queues outside the Trent Bridge Cricket Ground on Friday to enter the stadium for the West Indies-Pakistan game, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has now decided to make an exception and allow fans to print their tickets at home and walk into the ground with them to avoid another case of fans losing their cool as they wait to enter the stadium for a game. Speaking to IANS, Claire Furlong, ICC General Manager, Strategic Communications, said that while the majority of the tickets had already been delivered, the ICC has taken a number of measures to ensure that fans don’t feel concerned travelling to England and Wales for the showpiece event.
“There are a number of measures we have taken, this includes allowing fans to print their ticket at home (they just need to log onto their account and do so) so they can come with them, and we have stepped up our processes in venue to improve collection. The majority of tickets have been delivered now, but we are well set at venue if any fans have not received them,” she explained. While the official tickets printed come with holograms, Claire said security arrangements have been made to ensure that there is no duplication when it comes to fans printing tickets at home. “Once a ticket has been printed, it effectively is disabled so can’t be duplicated. There’s a whole security system behind it to prevent that (duplication),” she pointed.
Friday’s ticket issue had given some of the Indian fans quite a scare as they look to head to the UK over the course of the next month to watch Virat Kohli and his boys in action. In fact, they even wanted to know if they could be faced with a situation wherein they might have to return without watching a match.
“This is scary. I have bought tickets for one game (India-Pakistan) and am travelling for that, bought an air ticket, paid exorbitant visa fees. I shudder to think that the ICC may ruin my plans and then just refund the money for the match ticket. You would expect the ICC to be professional! It is a matter of grave concern,” one fan had told IANS on conditions of anonymity.
But Claire said there wasn’t anything to worry. “The Sri Lanka-New Zealand match in Cardiff is about to start and there have been no issues there today and I am in Bristol ahead of the Afghanistan-Australia game and we are similarly well equipped. I think we can reassure fans that all will be well,” she said.
Apart from the other games, Indian and Pakistani fans from all over the world are expected to be at the Old Trafford in Manchester when the two captains walk out for the toss on June 16.